Are the Sample Sized Wines Any Good?

Question from Mira: Are the sample-sized bottles I’ve seen for sale online any good?

Reply: This is a very good question because bottling is one of the most precarious times in a wine’s life. Oxygen exposure along the way puts the wine at risk for spoilage. A wine that tastes perfectly good today may spoil and become undrinkable after weeks or months in the bottle if it picked up too much oxygen.

I should add that spoiled wine isn’t harmful. So, if you notice something suspicious about your wine go ahead and try it. If it tastes good, down the hatch. If it tastes weird, down the drain! Or take it back.

I think there are a few companies repackaging wine in tasting-sized samples and I absolutely love the concept. It makes is easy and affordable to do comparative tastings at home with your friends – just as if you were in a winery tasting room.

The only company I’ll vouch for is called TastingRoom.com. I had the chance to see what they’re doing at their decanting facility first hand. They’ve gone to great lengths to be sure that when the wine is transferred from the normal, 750 ml, bottle to the tiny sample-size bottle it’s a completely anaerobic situation. It’s done in a sealed, zero-oxygen chamber. In fact, they say that you can even be sure that the wine is free of cork taint and other types of spoilage because it’s tested before it leaves their facility. That’s something a winery can’t do.

You could get a bunch of friends together, have each person order the same kit of six bottles and do a tasting together. To me, that’s the best and also the most fun way to learn more about wine. Go for it! Cheers!

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